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significant problems, and i think if we don't address the deficit, if we don't address it, i've become more and more convinced that we don't necessarily go gradually into problems, that we could go precipitously into a problem. and i say that with reference to 2008 and to the crisis. that i think there is even when things seem to be going pretty well, there is and are some lurking dangers within our economy. one would be interest rates rising. and i ask this question all the time to people i consider to be, you know, smart, big bankers, people in the major capital centers of the world, can we control interest rates and keep interest rates low? is there a breaking point at which the central bank cannot keep interest rates at this point? because interest rates at 5%, interest rates of 7% or when i was a kid, interest rates of 19 president or 21%, i think, would be catastrophic with this burden of debt. seems to work right now, but i also think that there's a certain illusion both of wealth in the stock market and an illusion of the ease at which we can manage our debt. and so those are my con
. that means we're using deficit and regaining increasing competitiveness. becae a lo member states underestimated in the first years of the common currency that the pressure on competitiveness in the common currency resulted possibility of devaluation. it's huge. and if you don't improve your competitiveness, you will get major problems. it has happened in -- you will not feel it in the first years, but it will happen. and it did. therefore, we always have to -- [inaudible] member states, oblige member states to stick to european rules in, of course, a balanced way to enhance their competitiveness by structure reforms, and then we can, we have built a european mechanism through different systems to buy time until they regain access to financial markets. this worked in ireland, in portugal. in fact, in the last year we increase, by the way. i think it will work in cyprus as well. and if you look at the -- [inaudible] we have halved the national deficits in the eurozone in the last three years. delivering our commitment, by the way. we have halfved the difference in the -- halved the
-called grand bargain we could devise a balance deficit reduction package for one year that avoids sequestration in fy 2014. we simply cannot continue to ignore the effect of sequestration. sequestration will have a major impact on military personnel. though the pay of military personnel has been exempted, the sequester would reduce military readiness in the services for the troops including schools for military children, family support programs and transition assistance programs and mental health and other counseling programs. the president's budget request continues a major drawdown of active duty and reserve strength. we have in recent years given the department numinous force shaping authorities to allow it to reduce its strength in a responsible way ensuring that the services maintain the proper force mix and avoiding grade and occupational disparities, all of which have long term affect. if sequestration continues, the result would be ore pripitous foe structe that is ou of t the requirements of our defense strategy. sequestration has already affected military readiness. we have heard test
Search Results 0 to 2 of about 3